Keivan Soufastaie, an Iranian asylum-seeker at risk of execution in Iran for apostasy, was on the verge of being deported from Sweden to Iran just 2 short months ago. The Swedish government had preparations in place to deport him on January 7, 2011. Three days before he was to be deported, public campaigns were held to stop his deportation, and on January 6, his asylum case was ordered to be re-opened by the Swedish courts. On February 26, 2011, Keivan Soufastaie received his refugee status during his court hearing.
We warmly congratulate Keivan Soufastaie for obtaining his asylum status and send him our best wishes. We thank his lawyer Jan Axelsson for his work on Keivan’s case, and we are grateful to everyone who worked so hard to halt a grave injustice.
Since obtaining refugee status himself, Keivan has chosen to contribute his time, knowledge, and resources to advocating for other asylum-seekers: Keivan is now working with ICRIR to take case histories of Iranian families at risk of deportation in Cyprus, and he has established a local chapter of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees in Växsjö, Sweden.
Keivan has also written a note of thanks to all those who advocated for him; it is reproduced below in both Farsi and English:
“Greetings to my fellow Iranians. I would like to inform you that, I Keivan Soufastaie, have now been granted asylum status, and permanent leave to stay in Sweden, this thanks to kind support and efforts of Iranian friends. I felt necessary to inform my fellow countrymen and send my most sincere gratitude to the human rights and refugee activists, Mr(s) Abeh Asadi, Ahmad Fatemi, Karim Shah-Mohammadi, Majid Hamidian, and dearest Mrs(s) Afsaneh Vahdat, Maria Rohaly, Farideh Arman, Andishe Alishahi, as well as the Ex-Muslim organization, International Federation of Iranian Refugees, Worker’s Communist Party of Iran, and from National Radio Pezhvak, Mr. Aghyli, who has worked on behalf of my asylum case day and night.”
March 3, 2011
باسلام خدمت ايرانيان بدينوسيله اعلام مينمايم كه بدليل همكاري وهمياري مهربان یاران ايراني در زمينه حقوق بشر وپناهندگي اينجانب كيوان سوفسطائي توسط كشور سوئد داراي حق پناهندگي گرديدم واقامت دائمي من صادر گرديده است. لازم دانستم مطلب فوق را به تمامي ايرانيان اعلام نمايم وازفعالين در زمينه حقوق بشروپناهندگي ,اقايان عبه اسدي احمد فاطمي كريم شاه محمدي مجيد حميديان و خانمها افسانه وحدت ماريا روحالي وفريده ارمان و انديشه عليشاهي عزيز وهمچنين سازمان ايكس مسلم فدراسيون سراسري پناهندگي وحزب كمونسيت كارگري و راديو سراسري پژواك اقاي عقيلي كه به صورت شبانه روزي پي گيري وهمكاري لازم رادر خصوص پرونده پناهجوئي من انجام دادند صميمانه تشكر وقدرداني نمايم.
Members of the ICRIR include Action for Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East, International Federation for Iranian Refugees, Iranian Refugees Action Network, Iranian Refugee Amnesty Network, and Mission Free Iran